Friday, July 30, 2010

Grant Enables Innovative Bridge Design

Innovation has been at the heart of MoDOT's Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program since it began just under two years ago. Innovative contracting, design, construction methods and materials have allowed MoDOT to pursue the replacement or repair of more than 800 bridges in a short period of time while minimizing inconvenience to drivers and local residents.

Since April 2009, 183 new bridges have been completed and another 48 are under construction. Work on 12 more is to begin next week.

Another innovative bridge design will become a part of the program as a result of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Sen. Claire McCaskill announced this week that MoDOT would be receiving the grant through the "Highways for Life" program, which is designed to accelerate the adoption of innovations and technologies, improve highway safety and quality, and reduce congestion as a result of construction activity.

MoDOT will use the funds to build three bridges that include Hybrid Composite Beams, or HCBs, a technique never-before used in Missouri. By using the HCBs, construction time can be greatly reduced, future maintenance will be minimized, and the HCB exterior is expected to provide a service life beyond 100 years.

MoDOT's bridge engineers plan to evaluate the HCBs to see if there are further applications for their use on future bridge projects.

One of the bridges to be built with HCBs is on Route 97 in Dade County. Locations for the other two structures are yet to be determined.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Take a Ride to the Fair!

How can you grow great memories this summer? Schedule a trip to the state fair on Amtrak's Missouri River Runner train!

The Amtrak train runs between St. Louis and Kansas City twice a day with stops in Lee's Summit, Independence, Warrensburg, Sedalia, Jefferson City, Hermann, Washington and Kirkwood.

If traveling to the fair for an overnight trip in Sedalia, you can easily take the train, but if only a day trip is planned, the following schedule could be followed. Travelers from Kansas City and western areas of the state would arrive in Sedalia at 9:19 a.m. and depart westbound from Sedalia at 7:39 p.m. Those traveling from St. Louis and eastern portions of the state would arrive in Sedalia at 12:01 p.m. and depart eastbound from Sedalia at 5:49 p.m.

A bus will take fairgoers from the Amtrak station in Sedalia directly to the fair's main gates. The bus runs every 15 minutes for a one-way fare of $1.25.

Hop on the Missouri River Runner and avoid the hassles of traffic and parking. You'll end up with great memories, and have more time to focus on all of the fun foods served on a stick.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Multimodal Goes Beyond Roads and Bridges

MoDOT is about more than roads and bridges. We also have a lot to do with planes, trains, ferries, buses and the freight network that keeps Missouri's economy moving. In the biz, we call those methods of transport “multimodal.”

Our website has a dedicated section to help citizens learn more about our responsibilities to these modes. If you go to you can get Amtrak schedules, ferry locations, links to local bus services, aeronautical charts, rural transit info, airport directories, even information on Missouri’s freight system. Links to related websites outside of MoDOT are also conveniently collected to help get you where you need to go. You can even calculate your carbon footprint from the site!

If you want to get a broader picture on MoDOT’s responsibilities, or need info on different modes of transportation, this site might be the one stop you need to make.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Celebrating the Youth

As the 2010 MoDOT Youth Transportation Conference comes to a close, it would be indecent of me not to recognize participating students for their diligence in pursuing knowledge. Noticing the enthusiasm from the participating high school students reminded me of myself as a high schooler and how excited I used to get over math and science.

Now that I am journalism major, math equations and science problems are few and far between. In fact, most of us journalism students try to avoid these two subject areas at all costs. But me, well I guess you could say I’m a rare breed. I loved English, math and science. But my math classes were always the ones I was in a hurry to get to. I imagine that the Youth Conference students are the same way.

The Youth Conference is a six-day camp, free for all high school students in the state of Missouri who may have special interests in mathematics and the sciences. This year’s students had the chance to learn more about the numerous career opportunities in the fields of transportation and civil engineering. They also had the chance to apply the skills they have learned thus far in the areas of math, science and computer concepts to transportation engineering problems that exist today. And let’s not forget about the many exciting field trips and tours that the students got to experience as well.

After finding out about all of the beneficial learning experiences and fun activities that the conference has to offer, I must admit that I’m jealous I didn’t get to take part in an opportunity like this when I was in high school. Nonetheless, I am excited to see so many of Missouri’s students taking an active interest in such honorable fields of study.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Precious Cargo

I’m less than two weeks away from having a baby. Last thing on my to-do list? Install the car seat. Turns out it was a little more complicated than I predicted.

I spent a Saturday morning taking the seat out of the box, reading the car seat instruction manual, looking at my car and referencing the car manual. Both my car seat and car came equipped with LATCH anchors, which are supposed to make installing a car seat a piece of cake.

Not so much. The safest place for a car seat is the center position in the back seat,but my car manual instructed me that my LATCH anchors were on the passenger seats, not the center position. So do I use LATCH and place my car seat in an outboard seat or do I use the seat belt in the center seat?

I didn’t know but luckily I did know that Missouri has a wealth of resources, including certified car seat technicians and inspection stations located across the state. I set up an appointment with one of those techs to help me install my seat.

It took less than 20 minutes and my seat was installed, and most importantly – installed correctly. According to NHTSA, three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly, putting children at risk. After watching her install the seat in my car, I was then able to go home and help my husband install the car seat base in his truck.

Even if you are able to make sense out of the car seat manual and install your car seat yourself, it’s still important to make sure it’s done correctly. Find an inspection station near you and have a car seat technician check to make sure your seat is installed correctly.

You can find a list of inspection stations and also check out the instructional videos located at

There’s nothing more important than securing your most precious cargo.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kris Sandgren's Arrival

"Not for himself, but to bring awareness to the 130 MoDOT employees that have been killed in the line of duty." - MoDOT's Interim Director Kevin Keith

Kris Sandgren arrived in Jefferson City yesterday afternoon to applause and cheers from MoDOT employees, including Interim Director Kevin Keith. Kris received a customized bicycle jersey designating him as a "highway hero" and a proclamation from Governor Nixon noting his outstanding accomplishment. Watch below for Kris' own remarks about the true motivation behind this ride.

Kris has done a remarkable job bringing attention to how vital it is to watch out for workers when traveling in a work zone. Across nine states, he was able to meet with citizens and media to offer a personal perspective on how lives can be saved by slowing down and paying attention.

Look for more information and stories from his trip in a future post, as we have a chance to sit down with Kris and hear about what it's really like to pedal so many miles. If his trip inspires you, consider a donation to the fallen workers' memorial honoring the lives that put his pedals in gear.

If you would like to make a donation or pledge by the mile in support of his ride:
Make check payable to:

State Highway & Transportation Employees
Association of Missouri

Mail to:
Fallen Workers' Memorial
c/o District 7 Highway Credit Union
3901 E. 32nd St., Suite A
Joplin, MO 64804
Attention: Dave B. Taylor

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Welcome Back Kris Sandgren!

MoDOT employee Kris Sandgren completes day 28 today of his 2,600-mile ride from Anacortes, WA, to Jefferson City, MO, in honor of MoDOT's fallen workers. He will ride into Jefferson City around 1 p.m. today to circle the Missouri State Capitol Building and receive a welcome from MoDOT's Interim Director Kevin Keith and fellow employees.

Watch for an upcoming post where we interview Kris and learn more details and stories from his trip. We're so glad to know he is safely finishing up his journey. His ride has been a truly meaningful way to bring attention to the importance of work zone awareness and to honor his fellow workers that have lost their lives in a work zone.

Below are some updates from his last few days of his trip. Welcome back to Missouri!

Day 23 -- Wednesday, July 14

Kris takes the day off in Omaha, NE, and spends it with the friends he stayed with Tuesday night. He is the guest of Greg and Nancy Schuerman and their two children. "It seems weird to me today to not be pedaling." Instead he accompanies the family to the zoo. It's a very hot day with a hot breeze from the south. He's glad he decided to stay off the road.

Day 24 -- Thursday, July 15

Less wind today and the heat moderates slightly, so his ride south out of Omaha on U.S. 75 goes well. He is about to cross the Missouri River toward Rock Port on U.S. 136 and spots a Welcome to Missouri sign. "I'm just tickled to death." He calls it a day and puts up his tent at a KOA campground at Rock Port.

Day 25 -- Friday, July 16

Out of Rock Port, Kris zig-zags on various roads and winds up having to detour around a flood damaged area and head back into Nebraska at Rulo, NE. He heads south again and, traveling about 70 miles, winds up in Atchison, KS. He notes that Atchison is the girlhood home of famous 1930s pilot Amelia Earhart. Kris stops at a house on the city's outskirts and asks permission of a couple to fill his water bottles from their outside faucet. In easy conversation with the couple, Kris explains the purpose of his bicycle trek. The couple take an interest and invite him to stay with them overnight. That evening, they take him to an outdoor country-music concert at an annual festival in Atchison. "It was .. an offer I couldn't refuse."

Day 26 -- Saturday, July 17

High temperatures, humidity and hilly terrain make the going tough. He rides 73 miles between Atchison, KS, and Holt, MO, northeast of Kansas City. "My eyes were burning like crazy from all the salty sweat." He often stops, wipes his face and puts on his reading glasses. He keeps having to consult a map because of the many different roads he must follow. He finally stops in a shady spot at about 3:30 p.m. and lies down to rest. "It was about to cook me." He resumes riding at 5 p.m. and rolls into Holt where he stops at a small hotel. The air conditioning in his room does not work. The day is "not much to brag about."

Day 27 -- Sunday, July 18

Kris is able to cover 115 miles on another hot, muggy day. The most challenging part is crossing the Laramie River west of Boonville. He uses a wide shoulder on I-70 for a short distance but finds no shoulder on the bridge. He tries to hitch a ride for 30 minutes but no takers. He pedals right up to the bridge and waits another 30 minutes for a break in traffic to pedal across. Almost to the east end of the bridge, he has his first flat tire of the trip. But the tire holds enough air for him to make it across. He pulls off the road and replaces the tire. Kris reaches Boonville in the early evening and spends the night in a nice motel in a room with a working air conditioner. He' looking forward to finishing the ride Tuesday in Jefferson City. "It's almost like I'm going to make it."

Day 28 -- Monday, July 19

Another hot, high-humidity day. Kris is taking his time heading toward Jefferson City. He will stay the night somewhere close.
Kris plans to ride to the Capitol and MoDOT's Central Office by 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 20.

If you would like to make a donation or pledge by the mile in support of his ride:
Make check payable to:

State Highway & Transportation Employees
Association of Missouri

Mail to:
Fallen Workers' Memorial
c/o District 7 Highway Credit Union
3901 E. 32nd St., Suite A
Joplin, MO 64804
Attention: Dave B. Taylor

Monday, July 19, 2010

Barrel Bob Rolls Back Into Town

He may have lost his hard hat, but Barrel Bob was recovered in a field in Johnson County and is now safely back at his Kansas City home. He's resting up for a big engagement in a few weeks at the Missouri State Fair.

Bob had gone missing from his busy work zone at U.S. 50 and Bynum Road in Lone Jack over a week ago. We're so glad to know he's back safely, and hope that's true for all of MoDOT's workers each day on the job.

Barrel Bob, developed as part of the kcICON project, is a creation of Robert Ohl, a Clarkson Construction employee. All labor and materials were donated to create Barrel Bob, which took about ten hours to build. Barrel Betty, also a donation from Ohl and Clarkson Construction, joined Bob on the job this past February.

Welcome Back!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Route 100 Widens

MoDOT and the City of Washington recently celebrated the opening of the new lanes on Route 100 between Interstate 44 and Route 47 in Washington. The widening of Route 100 will improve the capacity and safety of the highway for Franklin County motorists.

The Route was also awarded the special name of Veterans Memorial Highway, honoring those who have served our country. Residents were invited to come and walk, bike or run on the new stretch of road before the ceremony.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Searching for Barrel Bob

Where in the world is Barrel Bob now? What was intended as a fun, but informative safety campaign ended with an act of vandalism this weekend. Bob was taken from his location at U.S. 50 and Bynum Road without authorization on Sunday evening.

Barrel Bob was placed in a very active construction zone to send a safety message - to slow down and drive safely in work zones. Unfortunately his message was not taken seriously.

"We would very much like to see him returned and we are working with the police to find him," said Perry Allen, Construction and Materials Engineer. "Since 2000, 15 MoDOT employees have been killed in the line of duty. Bob is the literal representation of how important driver awareness is to the safety of workers in the construction zone."

Allen encourages anyone with information about Barrel Bob's location to contact the Lone Jack Police Department or MoDOT at 888-275-6636.

While intended to be clever and eye catching, the Barrels also represent a very important message about taking it slow through work zones. With the loss of Barrel Bob an innovative education campaign on safety is no longer available.

Barrel Bob, developed as part of the kcICON project, is a creation of Robert Ohl, a Clarkson Construction employee. All labor and materials were donated to create Barrel Bob, which took about ten hours to build. Barrel Betty, also a donation from Ohl and Clarkson Construction, joined Bob on the job this past February.

A Windy Week

MoDOT employee Kris Sandgren completed day 22 of his 2,600-mile ride from Anacortes, WA to Jefferson City, MO, in honor of MoDOT's fallen workers. Learn more about what inspired his ride, and check back here for more updates as he heads south for the rest of his trip.

Day 21 -- Monday, July 12

Kris keeps traveling east across southern South Dakota and hits Sioux City, IA, just after noon. He's riding in light rain. He skirts Sioux City, pedaling in fast traffic across a bridge over the Missouri River as close to the outer railing as he could. He puts his head down and pushes hard. "I didn't look back," he said.

He continues south on U.S. 75 along the west side of the river. He encounters hills north of Tekamah, NE, and is chased by dogs -- three of them -- for the first time on the ride. He grabs his canine repellent. "I just gave the lead dog a shot and the other two quit on their own." He has dinner at a Subway in Tekamah and checks into a local motel, small but clean. "I seem to be wearing down on the camping thing." Besides it looks like rain again and he doesn't want to be outdoors.

Day 22 -- Tuesday, July 13

Before leaving Tekamah, NE, Kris visits with the editor of the Burt County Plaindealer. Kris hits the road mid-morning and encounters strong head winds as he approaches Omaha, NE. "The wind is tormenting me. It blessed me across Montana. Now it's cursing me." He plans to spend the night with friends in Omaha.

Watch for more details as Kris completes the last days of his journey.
If you would like to make a donation or pledge by the mile in support of his ride:

Make check payable to:
State Highway & Transportation Employees
Association of Missouri
Mail to:
Fallen Workers' Memorial
c/o District 7 Highway Credit Union
3901 E. 32nd St., Suite A
Joplin, MO 64804
Attention: Dave B. Taylor

Monday, July 12, 2010

MoDOT Demolishes, then Recycles, Route 40 Bridge

Everyone knows you can recycle that old cereal box, your soda can from dinner and even a glass bottle, but what about a bridge? Yeah, you can recycle that! On July 10, the MoDOT-Kansas City district demolished the Route 40 bridge over Interstate 435, began the process to recycle 100 percent of the debris.

Built in 1966, the bridge is constructed of materials that are readily recycled today. After demolition, crews will retrieve:

• 2578 tons concrete, which will be used for base rock material or as rock ditch liner,

• 210 tons reinforcing steel, will be collected and delivered to a recycler,

• 579 feet of aluminum handrail, will also be collected and delivered to a recycler.

“Recycling our materials is a priority in this job,” Said MoDOT Construction and Materials Engineer Perry Allen. “One hundred percent of this bridge is recyclable and we plan to salvage all 100 percent.”

Large-scale recycling is not a new concept for the department. MoDOT leads the nation in the number of recycled roof shingles added to asphalt mixtures.

• 325,000 tons of concrete and asphalt were recycled and reused during the reconstruction of a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 64 in St. Louis.

• When the Route 19 Missouri River Bridge near Hermann was taken down, about 2,000 tons of steel from the structure was recycled.

• MoDOT has used enough recycled tires in its construction projects over the past two years to equip 20,000 cars.

• About 70 percent of state highway signs are produced from reclaimed material.

• Using the latest technology, MoDOT can actually recycle entire asphalt roads.

Bridge demolition is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded project to add a third lane to I-70 in each direction and improve the interchange at I-435. It also will include removing and replacing the Blue Ridge Cutoff (George Brett) Bridge over I-70 next year.

More than 50 local citizens and media stayed up into the wee hours on Sunday to watch the explosion, and treated the crew to a rousing round of applause.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The House that Cans Built

When you recycle, you really can make a difference.

Aluminum cans recycled from Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains will now be donated to the River City Habitat for Humanity in Jefferson City, Mo., to help build a house for a deserving family.

Starting this week, aluminum cans collected from the twice-daily St. Louis-Kansas City service will be dropped off daily at the capital city Amtrak station. The River City Habitat for Humanity's Aluminum Can Recycling Committee will use the proceeds from the cans on a home currently under construction at 815 Montana in Jefferson City. The project is known as the "house that cans built" because it's primarily funded by the group's recycling committee and programs such as this one by Amtrak passengers.

"Amtrak is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transportation and we are striving to make it even greener in Missouri," said MoDOT Rail Administrator Rod Massman. "By implementing a recycling program, we will reduce waste and help protect the environment. At the same time, we will help a family realize the American dream of owning a home."

Eco-savvy Amtrak riders can now recycle aluminum cans across the national network of Amtrak trains. Amtrak is committed to making recycling an integral part of train travel and strives to protect the environment and conserve its resources by reusing material, recycling waste and preventing pollution.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Make Your Own Great Memories at the Missouri State Fair

Ok, usually I try to eat pretty healthy, but every summer I look forward to attending the Missouri State Fair and sampling the foot-long corn dogs, kettle corn, fried Twinkies and other assorted fair food. Whether you visit the fair every summer, or have never been – this summer is a great time to come to the State Fair, and not just for the food!

“Growing Great Memories” is the theme for this year’s fair which runs Aug. 12-22. Besides the concerts, rides, shows and other exhibits, you can come visit MoDOT in our ever-popular shady Highway Gardens and air-conditioned Transportation Exposition Center.

The Expo Center will be fully loaded with interactive displays on the department’s programs and activities including games, contests and giveaways. Kids can participate in a transportation scavenger hunt, and play driving-related computer games. New displays will stress the importance of not texting and driving, a bridge display will feature pieces from an actual bridge, and a couple of other brand new things to see.

Our annual No MOre Trash! Day will be held on Friday, Aug. 13, with special activities including appearances by Buttons the Clown, trash can painting, games, snacks and a puppet show. MoDOT will stress the importance of litter prevention and keeping Missouri’s roadways clean of trash and debris. Adopt-A-Highway and Sponsor-A-Highway tables will be set-up for those interested in signing up to participate in these programs.

So, after you’ve grabbed your corndog and seen a pig race or two, head on over to our building and let us educate and entertain you for a bit. Don’t forget to pick up your FREE state road map.

Admission to the State Fair varies by day and time. Normal daily admission is $8. Visit to find out more.

Missouri Miles

In part one of Missouri Miles for July, we show you how MoDOT is saving money by cleaning signs instead of replacing them. Then we take you inside a big rig for the Missouri Truck Driving Championship in Springfield, Missouri. In part two, learn everything you need to know about driving around a roundabout. We take you on a bike ride in Jefferson City as a fundraiser for the MoDOT Memorial Fund, as well as remind you that "The Heat is On" this summer!
All that and more in this month's edition of Misouri Miles.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kris Sandgren's Ride, Day 15

MoDOT employee Kris Sandgren completed day 15 of his 2,600-mile ride from Anacortes, WA to Jefferson City, MO, in honor of MoDOT's fallen workers. Learn more about what inspired his ride, and check back here for more updates as he heads south for the rest of his trip.

After leaving Ray this morning in northwestern North Dakota, Kris pedals south to New Town, ND, where he visits with the weekly New Town News on Main Street across from the Jack and Jill market. His progress slows a bit.

"I'm in really hilly country now," said Sandgren.

It's a rolling, grass-covered landscape. He notices an increase in big-truck traffic related to an oil drilling boom in the region. He catches sight of the Missouri River. Late afternoon, he's fatigued and chilly on an overcast day and decides to hitch a ride. "I cheated. ... I just put my thumb out when I saw a pickup truck coming." The truck stops. An oil field construction inspector from Wyoming gives Kris and his bicycle a lift about 30 miles to Garrison, ND. Kris then pedals 12 miles to the Totten Trail campground east of Garrison. He pitches his tent and turns in. He looks forward to an "easy" 67-mile push further south to Bismarck, ND, on Wednesday, July 7.

If you would like to make a donation or pledge by the mile in support of his ride:

Make check payable to:

State Highway & Transportation Employees
Association of Missouri

Mail to:

Fallen Workers' Memorial
c/o District 7 Highway Credit Union
3901 E. 32nd St., Suite A
Joplin, MO 64804
Attention: Dave B. Taylor

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Forewarnings for the Fourth

So I was on the phone with my mom this morning and of course the first thing she said was, “So, what are your weekend plans? You know you need to be careful for the Fourth!”

Now with me being 22 years-old and all you would think she would have given up on worrying about what I’m doing on that particular weekend. But every year around this time I can expect to get that same phone call.

However, thinking about the large amount of traffic accidents and other fatalities that occur during this busy weekend, maybe having a worrisome, cautious mother may actually be a good thing. Last year there were a reported 82 minor injuries and 11 fatalities in Missouri during the Fourth of July weekend.

Many of these injuries were due to complete carelessness while driving. And with so many activities going on this weekend in the bigger cities like St. Louis and Kansas City, a lot of people are just anxious to hop in the car and go. Meanwhile, they are neglecting to take the necessary precautions when they are on the highway.

Not to worry though. Missouri Law Enforcement will be establishing sobriety check points until July 5, making sure to keep drunk drivers from harming others. And let’s not forget that the HEAT is still on. With the HEAT campaign in full effect, speeders, texters and those neglecting to wear their seat belts should be prepared to wipe the sweat from their brow, as they will be caught!

As a final word to the wise, make sure to be extra careful on the highways for the holiday. While you may be taking the appropriate measures to stay safe, others may not. And even if you’re grown, it might be a good idea to listen to your mom, at least this weekend.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Maiden Voyage for the M/V Mary Lynn

Make way for the M/V Mary Lynn and her maiden voyage up the Missouri River!

AgriServices of Brunswick, Missouri continue their waterway shipping efforts with a new 3800 horsepower shallow draft boat that will be used exclusively on the Missouri River. The M/V Mary Lynn's first assignment is a whopper! This powerful boat will bring with it a 160’x100’x8’ Ringer Barge with a Manitowoc 4100 Ringer Crane on it, plus, a 1000 hp push boat called the M/V Cleva Lee that will get dropped off at the Amelia Earhart Bridge Project located at mile marker 422.5 in Atchison, Kanses. Four empty hopper barges will also be in tow that will soon head to Blair, Nebraska to get loaded full of alfalfa pellets.

This new boat for AgriServices of Brunswick will be used for bigger tows. Kevin Holcer, with AgriServices of Brunswick says waterway traffic is increasing and this is another effort to move more freight and encourage more shipping on the Missouri River. Holcer says the waterway shipping year on the Missouri River is going well so far, aside from a few delays due to high water. Though, I'd have to assume a few delays due to high water is far better than extremely low water levels that shippers where plagued with the previous 8 years. Waterway shipping on the Missouri River was basically non-existent since 2002. Not only is river shipping back on the Missouri River, we have new boats like the M/V Mary Lynn that can tow bigger loads to help keep the momentum going for waterway traffic.

The crane the M/V Mary Lynn has on it is quite a sight. You can follow the progress of the M/V Mary Lynn on MoDOT's twitter page, plus, if you time it right through twitter... you can go see this large shipping load on the Missouri River with your own eyes!

Massive Concrete Girders are a Missouri First

The single-longest, precast, concrete bridge girders in Missouri state history were installed this week on MoDOT's kcICON design-build project. The 150-foot girders are part of a new land bridge that will span northbound Interstate 29/35 and carry southbound Interstate 29/35 traffic headed for The Paseo, Independence Avenue, and points beyond.

"Imagine a single, I-shaped piece of concrete that stretches from a football field's end zone to the 50-yard line," said kcICON Project Director Brian Kidwell. "Moving just one of these 150,000 pound girders is like lifting the equivalent weight of 70 classic Volkswagen Beetles."

Learn more about the girders from MoDOT Engineer Tom Skinner in this podcast.

Visit the project Web site at or find them on facebook by searching "kcICON project."

Thursday, July 1, 2010


The cracks, pops and booms that explode each Fourth of July are much like the fireworks that take place when bridges go down with a bang after new, safer structures have been erected.

Missouri has 10,335 bridges on the state system and the most major river bridges in the nation with 53. The average cost to build a major bridge runs from $30 million to $80 million, with some structures costing as much as $300 million. With bridges playing a major role in the state’s transportation system, Missouri has seen a fair share of bridge demolitions.

In the spirit of Independence Day, MoDOT has pulled together a compilation of bridge demolitions. Let the fireworks begin!

Many the Miles

MoDOT employee Kris Sandgren is now on day 10 of his 2,600-mile bicycle ride to raise money for a fallen workers' memorial in Missouri.

Today, Kris Sandgren is pedaling across the Continental Divide on U.S. Route 2 at the south edge of Glacier National Park. This is rugged country in northwestern Montana. His legs are feeling much better after experiencing soreness over the weekend. "I'm in the groove now," he said late Wednesday afternoon. He spoke while sitting outside the Super 1 Foods grocery store in Columbia Falls. He had just replenished his food supply, buying an apple, bananas, granola bars and orange juice.

On Tuesday, June 29, Kris spent the night near Fortine, MT, in an air-conditioned RV. He had asked a couple if he could pitch his tent on their property. They said absolutely not. They told him he could stay in their fifth-wheel travel trailer, having been prepared for out-of-town guests arriving later in the week. "They wouldn't take any money from me," Kris said. A good night's sleep and a hot shower boosted Kris' spirits and energy level. The night before, Kris had been stuck for three hours inside a campground restroom -- wide awake -- where had taken refuge during a severe thunderstorm.

Yesterday, Kris made the ski resort town of Whitefish, MT, where a friendly photographer at the Whitefish Pilot newspaper took Kris' photo on downtown's Central Avenue. Matt also told Kris of a shortcut out of town, saving him a few miles on his way toward West Glacier, MT.

Kris plans to travel about 65 miles into East Glacier Park by the end of today.